Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer
  • .: Welcome to my blog :.

    I'm John R. "Buck" Surdu. I have two Web pages that contain relatively static information about my professional life (including papers I've written) and my hobby life (including information about rules I've written and my wargaming projects). This blog is where I plan to post personal tidbits, like vacation pictures, wargaming projects, etc. Enjoy!
  • War-games Illustrated Combat Patrol (TM) Play-through Video Posted

    Posted By on August 31, 2016

    War-games Illustrated Magazine posted a video of Combat Patrol(TM) on their Website today.  See link here:  http://wargamesillustrated.net/combat-patrol-playthrough/  Thanks to Chris Abbey at Sally 4th for taking the time to travel to War-games Illustrated to show them the game.

    See the Combat Patrol(TM) Web page for more information on the game, information on how to get the game, free downloads, and how-to videos.

    Dreamland Drive-In

    Posted By on August 31, 2016

    For my birthday my kids bought me this kit from Powered Play Gaming.  It took me a little while to assemble the kit, paint it, and decorate it.  It was designed as a billboard.  I decided to convert it into a drive-in theater screen for my town of Granville I use for my Pulp games.

    You can see a little more in this video:  IMG_2942

    I used the technique shown on this Web page to create the rust effect.

    The HAWKs Want Your Children

    Posted By on August 31, 2016

    The HAWKs are well-known for running many children’s games at various HMGS conventions.  We also run the Armies for Kids Giveaway games that have been blogged about on our club blog and on TMP.  In the Armies for Kids Giveaway, we present the kids who participate in the game with two armies, rules, dice, and terrain bits so that they can go home and show their buddies wargaming.

    The Harford Area Weekly Kreigspeilers (HAWKs) are running Barrage on 30 September and 1 October.  We want you to bring your children and your children’s buddies to Barrage.  On the Barrage Web page you will see a number of games that are listed as “kid friendly” (those in purple).  More are being added daily.  We want to see a lot of kids at Barrage along with host of adults.

    For 2o years Barrage has been an outstanding gaming day.  This year Barrage will be two days, Friday, 30 September, and Saturday, 1 October.  The HAWKs want to see your children at Barrage.

    Come to Barrage.  Bring children.  Have a great time!

    The HAWKs want your children at Barrage!

    Completed a platoon of heavy infantry from Pig Iron

    Posted By on August 30, 2016

    A full platoon of Pig Iron heavy infantry

    A full platoon of Pig Iron heavy infantry

    Some months back, I discovered Pig Iron and their terrific line of science fiction figures and vehicles.  I had planned to build a platoon of these figures once the first few arrived and I painted them.  THEN, Pig Iron announced they were going out of business.  I ordered a bunch of their figures, only to find out that they were out of stock of many of those I needed and would not be producing more.  THEN, Pig Iron announced that they were being sold and that the figures would be available again.  They were made available again about two months ago.   I finished the last ten figures this evening and completed my platoon.

    A close up of one fire team of Pig Iron heavy infantry

    A close up of one fire team of Pig Iron heavy infantry

    I have organized my platoon into three ten-figure squads, divided into two teams.  Each team has a heavy weapon, not unlike a BAR in a US WWII platoon.  In addition to the three squads, there is also a weapon squad and a platoon headquarters.

    The weapon squad

    The weapon squad

    The platoon headquarters

    The platoon headquarters

    Optional Rules Supplement Posted for Combat Patrol (TM)

    Posted By on August 29, 2016

    I just posted a free optional rules supplement on the Web page for Combat Patrol(TM):  http://www.bucksurdu.com/Buck_Surdu/Combat_Patrol.html .  Like all the supplements to date, this supplement is <b>free</b>.

    So what is in the optional rules supplement?  It includes some rules that I didn’t have time to fully play test before releasing the rule book some months ago.  It also includes some clarifications as well as an alternative set of rules for spotting hidden enemies.  Examples include cavalry (on horses), night fighting, body armor, expansion on rules for firing small arms and machine-guns at light vehicles, etc.

    So head over the the Combat Patrol(TM) Web page and get your copy of the supplement today.  While you are there, download some of the other free goodies that I have posted there.  If you have not tried Combat Patrol (TM) yet, you are missing out on a very enjoyable gaming experience.  Also take a look at some of the <b>how to videos</b> that explain how this unique set of rules works.  More free videos are in production.

    A Platoon of Poles

    Posted By on August 22, 2016

    A squad of Polish soldiers, 1939

    The theme for Fall In 2016 in November is Poland.  I have always enjoyed the early WWII campaigns, including Poland.  I have quite a few 20mm / 1:72 scale figures, but I have been slowly duplicating my 20mm WWII collection with 28mm figures, which I like better.  I signed up to run a very large 10mm Look, Sarge, No Charts: World War II game, the battle of Lvov in Poland in 1939, and two 28mm skirmish games with Combat Patrol (TM).  Since I didn’t have 28mm Polish, I needed to get a platoon painted up quickly.

    A closer view of the Polish squad

    To assemble a platoon of Poles to run my Combat Patrol (TM) games at Fall In, immediately upon returning from Historicon in July, I ordered a platoon of Poles in 28mm from Warlord.  It took several weeks to file, prime, base, and paint these 60 figures, but I finished them this weekend.

    Polish Anti-Tank Rifle Team in the Platoon HQ

    I block painted the figures and then dipped them in the lighter brown shade from Army Painter.  This is the first time I tried to completely dip figures with Army Painter rather than brushing it on the figures.  I am pleased with the effect.  I don’t see myself using this technique on 18th century figures, where I will want the brighter colors, but I am pleased with the speed and effect on WWII figures.

    Company Mortar that I may attach to my Polish platoon for special missions

    Polish squads could be quite large, as large as 18 men, including two leaders and a  version of the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) produced under license in Poland.  My squads are a little smaller than that, at 16 figures.

    Polish 75mm field gun

    Warlord, one of the few — perhaps the only — manufacturers of 28mm Polish infantry, also makes a 75mm gun and a 37mm gun.  I didn’t quite get the color right on the guns, but they are passable.  Neither gun would be organic to a platoon, or even a company, but again, they will mike nice attached support weapons for specific scenarios.

    Polish 37mm anti-tank gun

    The platoon HQ

    The platoon HQ should be five men, including the two-man anti-tank rifle team.  The machine-gun would not be organic to the platoon, but might be assigned by from battalion or company for specific missions.

    There is nothing like committing to run games at a convention, when you don’t have all the figures to run the games, to provide the necessary impetus to get painting done.  I am very satisfied with the platoon and will be quite happy to field them on a gaming table soon.

     

    Roomans

    Posted By on August 21, 2016

    Or is that Roo-men?  Sometime in ancient history, Ral Partha made a single pack of figures, called Rooman War Party, which had Roomans in two poses, but all armed with pikes or spears.  They are no longer available.  Over the years, I collected dozens of the originals, but they have become quite rare, even on Ebay.  Recently, my buddy Ma’k contacted Iron Wind Metals about these figures, but the molds are lost to time.  So, Ma’k made a mold of the Roomans, and I added crossbows and swords.

    I had a little time this weekend to paint up these figures.  These re-casts have slightly less relief than the originals, so my dry brushing didn’t turn out all that well, but I am happy with the results.  No my phalanx of Rooman pikemen will have support from some crossbows.

    I also had a chance to add some science fiction weapons to a few of them.  The weapons are from War-games Supply Dump in their Dirk Garrison range.  These were not the kinds of conversions that win figure contests, but they will work well in my science fiction games.

    Barrage Event List Filling Up

    Posted By on August 18, 2016

    The event list for Barrage is beginning to fill up.  This is our first time running Barrage as a two-day event.  At this point, we have nearly as many events as last year, with a heavy schedule for Friday.  And we are still several weeks away, so I anticipate a very full schedule.

    Here is the Friday schedule as it stands today:

    Here is the Saturday schedule as it stands today.

    Note the games designated as “kid friendly” in purple.  I know of at least two more that will be added soon.  Bring your young gamers to Barrage 2016!

    Kid Friendly Games at Barrage

    Posted By on August 15, 2016

    GMs are submitting games a couple a day to the schedule for Barrage 2016 (see www.hawks-barrage.org).  Today we added two games specifically targeted at younger gamers.  One features the Panzer Kids rules by Peter Schweighofer.  The HAWKs have a reputation for being kid friendly, so you can count on there being more games suitable (or designed for) younger gamers.  Bring your kids to Barrage 2016!

    Barrage 2016 Events List Beginning to Fill Up

    Posted By on August 12, 2016

    The Web page for Barrage 2016 has been live since Historicon (http://www.hawks-barrage.org).  Through that portal, attendees and GMs can create accounts, register for the convention, sign up to run games, and sign up to play in games.  GMs have been registering games.  I have laid them out in a tentative schedule for both Friday and Saturday, as shown below.

    Friday

    Saturday

    There is a lot of room for additional GMs!  In the past we have filled Friday, and I have had to turn away game masters.  If you are interested in running a game, visit the portal soon and register.

    The Webmaster also recently linked old pictures from previous Barrage conventions to the Barrage portal.  You can see them under the “past conventions” menu item.

    We look forward to seeing everyone at Barrage, a terrific regions gaming event.